Early Grades: Reading
One of the most crucial missions of the early grades is teaching
students to read. Third-grade reading proficiency predicts
long-term outcomes, including high school graduation. Many state
policymakers have set third grade as the key pivot point in the
early grades and have enacted grade-level retention laws based on
reading assessment results. Even so, about two-thirds of
fourth-graders were not reading proficiently on a widely
recognized national assessment in 2015. Development in the
first years of life shapes a child’s ability to learn to read.
Recent research and state evaluations provide policymakers with
powerful tools as they create a holistic approach to statewide
The following studies highlight recent research on policy topics with nationwide applicability.